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09 July 2015

Since lifting the euro minimum exchange rate on 15 January 2015, the Swiss economy is playing by new rules. Especially the export and tourism industries have been forced to fundamentally rethink their cost structures. Latest figures from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) show that, for the time being, the cost and wage pressures have not slowed the recruitment of foreign workers.

From January to March 2015 immigration to Switzerland increased by 2.6% compared to the same period last year. At the same time, emigration has decreased by 0.3%. Overall, at the end of March, 1'967'844 people without a Swiss passport were living permanently in Switzerland. This represents approximately 24% of the total resident population. About two thirds of them come from EU-28 / EFTA countries. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) also lists the reasons for immigration in the statistics: The main reasons are employment (48.4%) and family reunification (30.3%).

In general, immigration follows the economy. In other words, immigration rises during an economic upswing and declines during a downturn. The SECO estimates a negative GDP growth for the first quarter of 2015. So, one would hardly assume that with the strong Swiss franc being stopped the demand for foreign labour would continue to rise. On the contrary, in the medium term one would expect to see a rise in unemployment. We, at least, are currently experiencing no decline in demand for legal advice on the settlement of members of management in Switzerland.

Author: Urs Haegi

Foto: Alexander Blum

Topics: ImmigrationIncome

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